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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

KillZone 2 Review

Developer: Guerrilla Games
Publisher: SCEE
Designer: Mathijs De Jonge (game director)
Composer(s) Joris de Man
Series Killzone
Engine Deferred Rendering engine
Native resolution 1080i & 720p
Version 1.11
Platform: PlayStation 3 Exclusive
Release date(s)
EU February 25, 2009
AUS February 26, 2009
UK February 27, 2009
NA February 27, 2009
Genre: First-person shooter, Tactical, action
Mode: Single-player, online multiplayer
BBFC: 18
PEGI: 18+
Media Blu-ray Disc
Input methods Gamepad

Kobe Byrant, Tiger Woods, and Tom Bardy are pretty damn good at their respective sport. They have not done anything revolutionary to change their sport, some athletes out there can be debated as arguably better, and they are some people how really do not like them. KillZone 2 is the Bryant, Woods and Brady of FPS this current generation. Guerrilla Games KillZone 2 is damn good at what it does, nothing revolutionary was done to change the genre, some FPS could be debated as being better, and then they are people, out there that would not see how much of a special experience KillZone 2 has to offer.

KillZone 2 is not without it's flaws, I'll will vent my frustration about this later. I have only played KillZone: Liberation for PSP and that was a demo. Having no knowledge about the KillZone universe will not impend your comprehension of the sub par plot.

KillZone 2 begins two years after the Helghast assault on Vekta. The ISA is taking the fight to the enemy's home world of Helghan with the ultimate goal of capturing Helghast Leader, Emperor Visari, and putting a halt to the war machine called the Helghast. The first thing that will strike your retinas like an HD rainbow collage being beam directly into your pupils are KillZone's 2 graphic. KillZone 2 in a sense, is just like every other FPS out there with a few major tweaks, and the first being pushing the graphic bar on all FPS on current generation consoles. You have to see KZ2 in motion to appreciate the beauty and grace, death can bring.

Many Wii owners out there may shout at the top of their lungs "graphics is not the end all be all", but that is the main reason Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo( I think they took a step backwards) "con us" I mean persuade us into purchasing a new system every five to seven years is due to graphics. Graphic matter and KillZone 2 proprietary game engine really show off the potential of the PS3 as a graphic powerhouse with no equal this generation.

One of the most impressive aspects of KillZone 2 is the animation and killer AI(some of the best I have to date). There is not too many games that do death and destruction as gracefully as KillZone 2. As you scorch the the Helghast with your flamethrower or nail them to the nearest object, it's a brutal and painful reality that drives the ugliness of war in the Halghast universe. If you like dishing out pain, you standard weapons will be making an appearance in KillZone 2. You will have your trusty pistol, Assault Rifles,sniper Rifles, Heavy Machineguns, Shotgun, VC1 Flamethrower, VC5 Electricity Gun and the VC21 Boltgun. My issue with KillZone 2, in the weapon department is the ability to carry only two weapons. I want the ability to carry any two weapons for example, a sniper rifle and a Flamethrower. The fact that you are always stuck with your trusty pistol does add a level of panic but it would have been nice to have a choice with my devices of death.

KillZone 2 supports full 1080i and 720p resolution and most importantly some of the best 7.1 Dolby digital in the industry. The score to Killzone 2 was composed by Joris de Man, who scored 60 minutes of in-game music and 30-minutes of live orchestral score for the game, recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, with the Nimrod Studio Orchestra. The orchestral score is epic, it enhances the overall sense of chaos, war and tragedy, especially if you play with high end headphones, which I did for the most part of the game.

The controls for KillZone 2 plays a little different form the norm. As you guide your protagonist Sergeant Tomas "Sev" Sevchenko through his personal nightmare against the Helghast. You will notice the weight of his armor and weapon in his movements. If you run with your pistol versus your rocket launcher you will notice a slight change in your speed. The controls for KillZone 2 is tight, smooth and very responsive. My only complaint about the controls would be, when you are running around for your life and you need to pick a weapon up, you have to directly stop over the weapon hold square for about a second before you can pick your new weapon up. This sucks, especially towards the end of KillZone 2, I'll would rather have the ability when I run over a weapon press square I pick it up automatically akin to the Call of Duty series there should be no delay.

KillZone 2 single player campaign is a epic battle for survival what gives this shooter legs is its fantastic online play, a fun and competitive extravaganza that issues a constant stream of benefits. Like the most recent Call of Duty games, Killzone 2 rewards you with bonuses as you play, which in this case can mean new weapons, extra grenades awarded upon respawning, and most intriguingly, entire classes. This is done not only via a leveling system that pushes you ever closer to the next reward, but also with ribbons earned by completing specific tasks, such as getting a certain percentage of your team's kills. These bonuses are earned separately from leveling, which makes for two layers of online play enhancements to keep you ever addicted.

The modes themselves offer few surprises, what with variants on Team Deathmatch (Bodycount), Conquest (Capture and Hold), and Capture the Flag (Search and Retrieve), among others. Rather, matches are unique because these modes are strung seamlessly together, forcing teams to move from one objective to the next with barely a breather in-between. Up to five modes mesh into a single game, which keeps teams on their toes and spreads hotbeds of action about the maps. In a single match, you're likely to band with teammates in an exposed courtyard, navigate tight walkways as battles rage in the artificial gully just beyond, and defend an objective in a claustrophobic alcove. It's unlikely that you'll have trouble finding players online to join you in one of Killzone 2's 32-player engagements, but should you be so inclined, you can fill out the games that you host with up to 15 AI-controlled bots. You can even practice offline in one-off matches with those same bots if you prefer.

The eight maps included are exceptional, largely because they are flexible enough to make every mode feel like a natural fit for the precise layouts. Aspects such as the varying spawn points of the propaganda speaker in Search and Retrieve, and the vulnerable locations of capture points in Capture and Hold, provide focused hot spots and send you to every nook and cranny of the maps. Be prepared to think vertically because the pathways wind up stairwells, through hidden tunnels, and across balconies walkways. The addition of techniques available to each of Killzone 2's seven classes makes the ensuing action even more dynamic. An engineer's turrets can make Pyrrhus Rise's natural chokepoints even more treacherous, whereas a cloaked enemy may pounce on you as you navigate Tharsis Depot's constricted walkways. All the while, visual flourishes such as floating embers on Visari Hammer and distant artillery fire on Salamun Market keep the mood oppressive.

Guerrilla Games Killzone 2 is a clinic in FPS that will defiantly help usher in a new kind of immersion. But KillZone 2 is not without it's flaws. My biggest let down with Killzone 2 is the lack of any online or offline co-op game play. Any sort of co-op gameplay in KillZone 2 would have launched KillZone 2 to heights that no other FPS would have been able to follow. As you play on Veteran or Elite, it's evident that co-op would help with the Halghast relentless pursuit of your demise.

Guerrilla Games has some work cut out for KillZone 3 especially with it's rough narrative. KillZone 2 is an excellent, chaotic and brutal FPS, it does not do anything revolutionary or even new. What KillZone 2 does is provide one of the best console gaming experience offline and online and graphical superiority that has garner the attention of the competition. Most importantly KillZone 2 is a reason to be proud to be a PS3 owner.

Graphics: A+

KillZone 2 is the best looking shooter so far this early generation. From fluid death animations, to amazing lighting, and particle effects. Guerrilla Games has created a brilliantly realized immersive environment to stimulate all your sense

Sound: A+
Sporting the best 7.1 HD audio in the business, KillZone 2 epic score, thunderous explosions and piercing gun play helps enhance the battle for survival on enemy home turf.

Replay Value: A+
MP will keep you playing for months or until KillZone 3 comes out. One of the great features of KZ2 is the ability to track your stats, from online to offline. Beside seeing where you stand around the globe there seems to be an endless array of online unlockables.

Control: A

If you've played FPS you can handle KillZone the control scheme is a little different, but the more you play the more it feels very natural. Weight is translated very well when running and gunning for your life.

Fun Factor: A +
From single player campaign to online with up to 32 players KillZone 2 is pure fun. If KillZone 2 had co-op online and offline, it will surpass the realm of fun.

NanoGeekTech Overall Score: A+
The hype is for real, KillZone 2 is an extremely great ride that every PS3 owner should experience. Leading the way with superior graphics,ear melting sound track while
pushing the boundaries of the FPS experience.

Should you buy it or rent. Both, if you cannot afford to purchase KillZone 2 than go out and rent it at your local Blockbuster, if you can afford it, KillZone 2 is a worth while title to add to your PS3 library.


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